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LAWSUIT: Construction Elevator Accident At F5 Tower

Posted on Mar 04, 2020


Note: Plaintiff’s name has been withheld from this post in order protect his privacy.  Click here to read the entire complaint for damages.  

Worker Injured When Construction Hoist Falls Multiple Floors

Supervisor Ignored High-Wind Warnings; Refused To Shut Down Manlift Elevator

Seattle, WA, March 25, 2019 - Davis Law Group, P.S. has filed a civil lawsuit in King County Superior Court (19-2-07812-0-SEA) on behalf of a man who was injured when a construction elevator at the property known as the F5 Tower suddenly dropped multiple floors.

elevator accident seattle

The building which is located at Fifth Avenue and Columbia Street, 811 Fifth Avenue, next to the former First Methodist Episcopal Church.  The 660-foot-tall skyscraper is the fifth-tallest building in Seattle.  The building was known as ‘The Mark’ until 2017 when it was announced that tech company F5 will lease all the office space or 28 floors of the building which is now commonly known as F5 Tower.

On the blustery morning of September 17, 2016 gusting winds reached 40 mph at times.  At around 12:30 pm three workers were in an external temporary elevator erected on a crane which is commonly referred as a construction “hoist” or “manlift.”  The manlift was somewhere between the 33rd and 37th floors when high winds caused a power cord to slip and catch on a fall protection net outrigger.  Suddenly and without warning the manlift fell multiple floors before coming to an abrupt and hard stop.  One of the construction workers sustained bodily injuries as a result of the sudden fall.

According to the complaint for damages, defendants negligently failed to properly hire, train, and/or supervise their employees with due care and good judgment.  These duties include, but are not limited to, shutting down the manlift when adverse weather conditions make operation hazardous and/or to shut down the manlift when wind speeds reach greater than 35 miles per hour.

Defendants owed duties to all workers at the construction project to comply with all applicable safety regulations, practices and procedures under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act, Chapter 49 of the RCW; WAC 296-155-77105; WAC 296-155-040 and ANSI A10.4-2016 30.

Injury & Fatality Statistics: Construction Accidents & Elevator Falls 

According to a report from The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the number of elevator-related deaths among construction and maintenance workers doubled from 2003 to 2016.  More than 53% of elevator-related deaths were from falls and of those nearly 48% were from heights 30 feet or more.  There were also roughly 1,800 elevator-related construction injuries during that period. 

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 over 9,000 people were hurt or sick from construction work in Washington State. And Washington construction workers were injured at twice the national rate for the industry.


Defendants & Parties

Defendants: JTM Construction, Inc., a Washington for-profit corporation; JTM Construction Services, Inc., a Washington for-profit corporation; Morrow Equipment Company, LLC, a foreign limited liability company; Fifth & Columbia Investors, LLC, a foreign limited liability company. 

Morrow Equipment Company

The manlift used at the construction project was erected, operated, supervised, repaired, and/or maintained by Morrow Equipment Company, LLC.  The manlift was an Alimak FC 7100-12D, Model 650 FC 32/39 Dual Car Construction Hoist.  

Fifth & Columbia Investors, LLC

Fifth & Columbia Investors, LLC was the owner and lessor of the property at the time of the accident.  

JTM Construction, Inc. / JTM Construction Services, Inc.

JTM Construction, Inc. and/or JTM Construction Services, Inc. was the general contractor that managed, operated, supervised, and/or maintained the aforesaid construction project.

Seaburg Construction

Seaburg Construction was hired by JTM to perform general construction services.  At the time of the elevator accident, the plaintiff was working at the construction project while an employee of Seaburg Construction.  Seaburg Construction is not a defendant in the case.

Photo: Alimark Model 650 construction hoist at a foreign construction site.  

F5 Tower Elevator Accident: Complaint For Damages

Docket: 19 2 07812 0 SEA
Court:  King County Superior Court 
DLG Case Number: 202000